Replace your blood glucose meter for diabetes every one to two years. That's how long a typical glucose monitor will last if you're diligent about proper maintenance—like cleaning the lens, keeping batteries fresh and using the "check strip" with each new container of diabetic test strips.
If an unusually high or low blood sugar result occurs, retest to verify the result; when the blood glucose meter stops being 100 percent reliable, check with your health insurance company about replacing it.
When you do get a new glucose machine, keep the old one as a backup unless the doctor treating your diabetes feels it has become too unreliable.
Joyce A. Generali, M.S. FASHP, R.Ph., is director of the University of Kansas Drug Information Center and the author of The Pharmacy Technician’s Pocket Drug Reference.
From our sister publication, Diabetes Focus, Summer 2011